Ages ago I read an article about the worst fears of Norwegain women. Can you guess what came first? Fear of an early death? Global warming? Fear of flying?
No – turning up to an event overdressed! This crazy truth has remained in my consciousness since, and has – time and time again – proven to be very true. While I stand there – visual like a stop sign – the rest of the girls have dressed in jeans and a fancy T-shirt, leaving me the choice to feel ridiculous or simply ignore my outlandishness.
We live in a country that is under The Law of Jante (for those of you who are not Scandinavian, look it up!), and while Norwegians seem to be shaking its spell in some areas of life, my belief is that it is still very much alive in terms of how we dress. However else would you explain the worn-to-death-phrase “It doesn’t look like she tried too hard“?!
To me, this expression implies that the girl in question:
a) is not too vain, she puts something on, without much thought to it.
b) she has that all-important ability to decode a dress-code and still look casual.
But – hey – what is so bad about being vain? We are all vain! Some are simply better at hiding it than others. They think. The signs of vanity are all there: the super-expensive hand-bag, the incognito-but-costly jeans, and last but not least, the leather jacket and boots. All those things are bought to attract attention – maybe even envy – and tell the world you are in-the-know.
And why-oh-why this obsession with casual?! Is it really so bad to look like you made an effort? History tells us that we, in all cultures and at all ages, have played the dress-up game. So why now this obsession over pairing it down? Have we simply become so rich in oil-wealth that we think we need to be above it all and not make a little effort..?
This girl, however has never really shaken the little girl inside that wants to play dress-up. I think it far more fun to dress in an outfit that I love and fits me, rather than some statement jacket that all the editors picked for the season. To me, any occasion is a good occasion to dress up, and I really don’t care if people think me overdressed!
The outfit above is neither casual nor just-thrown-together. And it is worn on a regular Thursday. In other words, a total fail when it comes to that not-trying-too-much approach. But I felt fine, and will certanly dress like that again. Casualness, I defy thee!